SA20 Season 2: D-Day for MI Cape Town, Pretoria Capitals, Joburg Super Kings

February 3, 2024
It all comes down to the final double-header of SA20 Season 2 on Sunday to decide who will join Durban’s Super Giants

Pretoria, Feb 3 (IANS) It all comes down to the final double-header of SA20 Season 2 on Sunday to decide who will join Durban’s Super Giants, Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Paarl Royals in the playoffs starting on February 6.

At Newlands, MI Cape Town host Pretoria Capitals with their campaign on the line. A loss will end their campaign. Win, and an anxious evening awaits watching proceedings at Wanderers, where Joburg Super Kings will look to turn the form table upside down against Durban’s Super Giants to sneak their way into the coveted fourth place.

It will be a day of small margins as bonus points and net run rates will also come into play.

Looking at the first game, Kieron Pollard is under no illusion what needs to happen -– repeat Thursday’s dominant performance over Capitals but with the finishing touch they couldn’t manage after having them 42/6 at Centurion.

“Getting the win [on Thursday] pleases me and obviously the way that we batted. I’m not happy with the method of the win even if we got there in the end because we let the other two teams back into the competition when we could’ve killed one off [Capitals] and then go into a home game looking to qualify. There’s not much to say, we got the win after we were in a position to lose four on the trot and now it’s about recuperating and travelling for a quick turnaround and a couple of us are struggling in the dressing room [with illness, including Pollard himself] so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Capitals’ captain, Wayne Parnell, is aware of how important their fightback in the second half of their innings could prove to be. Crucially, they head into Saturday’s match just three points behind MICT (and JSK) rather than the four it looked like being at the end of the Powerplay – so an outright win takes them back above MICT.

“Credit goes to Kyle [Verreynne] he’s looked really good since coming into the team. We actually joked in the warm-ups… I tapped him on the shoulder and told him ‘Get me a hundred today’ so I’m really chuffed for him and obviously to prevent them from getting the bonus point leaves everything to play for [at Newlands]. Hopefully, Kyle gets runs there as well.”

As it happens, the Capitals were able to do what Joburg Super Kings couldn’t on Wednesday; recover from a poor start with the bat to prevent the opposition Sunrisers Eastern Cape in their case from getting a bonus point.

“I honestly felt like a game like today is almost like a blooper… you have to try and bury it as quickly as possible;” said JSK captain Faf du Plessis after they were skittled for 78 all out on their own pitch. Sunrisers comfortably knocked off the required runs with a bonus point.

“We have to look ahead, we have one game against a strong Durban’s Super Giants team that is playing amazing cricket, but we also know that if we do our thing and play to our potential then we’re a very dangerous team, but we’ve been very inconsistent with that the whole season especially from a batting point of view. I feel like today you just needed someone to hang around… that’s probably the learning we take out of today. Obviously, because the next game is here [at Wanderers], we have to try to make sure we don’t do that again.”

Durban’s Super Giants captain, Keshav Maharaj, is adamant that they will be ‘up’ for Saturday evening’s match despite already knowing their playoff fate as the current log leaders. “The strive for excellence is always there, but I think for us it’s about sticking true to our processes which, we’ve been doing really well, and assessing conditions and adapting accordingly. We just want to keep building on that and hopefully, we can go all the way in this competition,” said Maharaj.

The simplest equation for Du Plessis’ men is for Pretoria Capitals to win at Newlands (moving them to 14 or 15 points and leaving MICT stranded on 13), and then an outright win for them will take them clear on 17 points and secure a return to Wanderers next Thursday for the Eliminator against a Paarl Royals team who’ve lost three on the trot. If MICT win, bonus points, net run rates and matches against each other all come into the mix. An intriguing day of incredible cricket awaits.

–IANS/bsk/

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